Prince Andrew: Duke of York’s link to Jeffrey Epstein scandal explained as Ghislaine Maxwell is arrested
Virginia Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew – a claim that the Duke of York has aggressively denied
Ghislaine Maxwell, long-term associate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, has appeared in court facing six charges including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
The daughter of media mogul Robert Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday and was later accused of helping Epstein "identify, befriend and groom" multiple girls, including one as young as 14.
Epstein took his life in prison in August, 2019.
The arrest has been followed by calls from attorney’s for Prince Andrew, once a friend of Epstein and Maxwell, to speak to FBI investigators.
Prince Andrew asked to co-operate by prosecutors
Following the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell prosecutors urged Prince Andrew to co-operate with investigators.
US attorney for southern district of New York, Audrey Strauss spoke at a press conference on Thursday.
She said: “We would welcome Prince Andrew coming in to talk with us, we would like to have the benefit of his statement.”
She added: “I have no further comment beyond what I just said, which is that our doors remain open, as we previously said, and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”
A source close to the Duke of York insist that he is already co-operating.
They said: “The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month and to date we have had no response.”
Virginia Giuffre alleges that when she was 17-year-old she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew while staying at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, a claim that he has fiercely denied.
How does Ghislaine Maxwell know Prince Andrew?
Ghislaine Maxwell has known Prince Andrew since University, according to Press Association.
In the 1990s Maxwell introduced the royal to then boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein. The trio remained good friends for years with photos of them at Royal Ascot together in 2000 recently resurfacing.
Virginia Giuffre alleges that her encounter with Prince Andrew took place in 2001. A picture of Prince Andrew with his arm around Giuffre features a grinning Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.
During a Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis Prince Andrew said that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein.
He said: "the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful".
Prince Andrew stayed at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion in 2010 after the financier had been found guilty of procuring for prostitution a girl below age 18.